Kerala becomes first Indian state to roll out Responsible Tourism classification for hotels, resorts

Responsible Tourism classification for hotels and resorts aims at providing an added thrust to environmental protection and ecological-restoration through tourism.

With Responsible Tourism high on the Kerala Tourism agenda, many an effort has been made to keep the high standards of going about managing tourism in the most responsible manner.

For the first time in the country, Kerala has ushered in a unique categorization of its tourism properties. Kerala has introduced Responsible Tourism (RT) Classification for hotels and resorts, which is expected to provide an added thrust to environmental protection and ecological restoration through tourism.

According to Kerala’s Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas, the fresh initiative is based on sustainable management, socio-cultural, economic and environmental responsibility.

Diamond, Gold, Silver classification for hotels, resorts

Dubbing it a role model for the entire nation, the Minister added that hotels and resorts have been classified into RT Diamond, RT Gold and RT Silver categories. The classification is based on their score in following the specified environmental criteria.

Properties scoring more than 80 per cent score in environmental responsibility criteria will receive the RT Green Classification. All processes of classification have been made hassle-free with the launch of an online portal as part of the initiative. This would also mean that there will not be any delay in providing the classification services.

With the Responsible Tourism classification of hotels and resorts currently on, the accreditation process for homestays, service villas, Ayurveda centres and resorts, adventure tourism service providers, amusement parks, heritage homes conservation projects and licenses for tour guides will be provided online.

State Responsible Tourism Mission in charge of classification

The classification process under the project will be implemented by the State Responsible Tourism Mission. The parameters for Responsible Tourism Classification have an emphasis on ecological conservation, local economic development, experiential tourism, preservation of arts and culture, and sustainable growth in the tourism sector. 

The Responsible Tourism Classification will be valid for three years and will be awarded post-inspection by a panel comprising Tourism Director as Chairman, State RT Mission Coordinator as convenor and other industry experts as members.   

The State RT Mission has already successfully implemented a wide range of activities and the classification scheme comes across a novel venture that would take the state’s Responsible Tourism agenda a long way.

Kerala Tourism to tie-up with other departments

Besides this, the Kerala Tourism Department will also collaborate with other departments for various services. For instance, the Department of Tourism will be joining hands with the Transport Department to set up ‘Foodie Wheels’ in 20 major tourist destinations across the state to introduce local cuisines to the visitors. Further, parleys have been kicked off with the Culture Department with regard to exploring the scope of Cinema Tourism.

The Minister also said that the recently launched Caravan Tourism project has received tremendous response from the industry. The Caravan Parks coming up across the state under the project will also become cultural hubs.

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